The Coronavirus, COVID-19, still does not have as many cases or deaths as “the flu” as in influenza but with cases topping 87,000 and the death count over 3,000 (which is certainly tragic), many are still nervous about it. Due to its ease of transmission, the impact on travel has been huge. Here is the latest on the Coronavirus impact on air travel.
El Al Warns of Collapse
Just a couple of days ago, El Al warned of the possibility that the national airline of Israel may face collapse. This is due in part to Israel had warning all their citizens to avoid international travel due to the coronavirus. Now, there is news that that they may have to layoff 1,000 employees as people are traveling less and several of their routes are being halted.
Israel’s PM, Netanyahu, has said that Israel will do what they can to keep El Al from failing. El Al, as the flag carrier of Israel, is the most secure airline in the world and Israelis feel very safe using it for traveling to destinations around the world. For this reason, as well as Israeli jobs, it is easy to see why Israel will try and help them during this difficult time.
Cathay Pacific Parks 50% of Aircraft
According to the South China Morning Post, at any one time, Cathay Pacific has over 50% of their aircraft idling on the ground. Cathay Pacific has been hit in a major way by the coronavirus and travel alerts for the regions they fly to. They have also cut 75% of their weekly flights this month.
In addition, Cathay Pacific also has 75% of their staff (25,000, according to SCMP) on unpaid leave during this time of travel crisis.
Amazon Suspends Non-Essential Travel
Amazon, reportedly the 12th biggest corporate customer of domestic air travel, has told employees to suspend all non-essential travel on both domestic and international flights. One report says that their end date on this is the end of April.
In addition, they have halted in-person interviews, option to do these over video instead. With Amazon domestic travel being such a chunk of corporate business for US airlines, this is certainly going to hurt the airlines.
Photos of Major Airports Around the World
This article shows photographs of major airports and the coronavirus impact in a real way on air travel. With the IATA estimating a $29.3 billion loss in passenger revenue for 2020, this just gives image to what is happening to the airline industry around the world.
Airline Route Suspensions
Airlines around the world have suspended routes to China as well as places like Iran, some routes in Italy, and other areas where various airlines feel it is not safe to fly to at this time. While some airlines are going week-by-week with these suspension announcements, others are clearing the schedule out much further than that.
This means that if you travel travel later this year to some of these destinations that have gotten hit, you may still find schedule disruptions the longer the coronavirus continues its march around the world.